CEDAW issues recommendations on corporal punishment

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women held its 69th session in February – March 2018 and issued recommendations on corporal punishment to the following states:

  • To Suriname, the Committee consistently expressed concern at the legality of corporal punishment during the examination and recommended that the Government adopt legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings.
  • Despite the Government of Malaysia defending the legality of judicial corporal punishment under Shari’a law, stating that the punishment imposed “is intended to educate rather than to punish the offender”, the Committee recommended the prohibition of whipping under all circumstances, including under religious law.
  • To Saudi Arabia, which also defended the use of judicial corporal punishment and misleadingly stated that all corporal punishment was prohibited in homes, schools and penal institutions under current legislation, the Committee expressed concern at the use of physical violence by male guardians to discipline women and children and recommended the repeal of all legal provisions that “exculpate perpetrators of domestic violence, including male guardians”.


For further details, see the Global Initiative’s individual country reports for MalaysiaSaudi Arabia, and Suriname.

For further information on the obligation to prohibit corporal punishment under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and to see the Committee’s recommendations in full, see the Global Initiative’s page on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

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